Mama’s Italian Meatballs!

Is Butter a Carb?

Hello again, friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their extended holiday weekend, we certainly did! Tikki got a surprise visit from his Nana & Poppa, it completely made his day. He always gets so excited when people visit, especially when Nana & Poppa visit.

Anyway, let’s talk about meatballs, since that’s what we’re making today.  When I make meatballs (and all Italian food really) it floods my mind with memories of my grandmother cooking and her teaching me how to cook. It also brings up memories of her cussing me out in Sicilian for tasting the food too often, I mean can you blame me? That shit was delicious!

She was, and still is, such an inspiration to me.  So, this post is for her. Let’s get rolling….

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup of milk (low carbers, you can use beef stock here instead of…

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One-Pan Dinner: Salmon, Green Beans & Potatoes

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There are a lot of things I love about spring – flowers, thunderstorms, open windows and… veggies being in season! I love eating green beans raw, and springtime is when they get really good – especially here in Wisconsin. They are on my short list to plant in our garden this year, so I can’t wait to try this recipe again with homegrown beans!

We’re always looking for healthy, easy meals to make during the week and if you love beans and salmon, this is something that I would recommend trying!

What You Need

This recipe was for just Casey and myself – using only one pan, and it was the perfect amount of food + leftover veggies! You could make more, but you’d obviously need more than one pan, which would defeat the purpose. 😉

  • 2 Salmon filets (mine were marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, crushed basil and…

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Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli

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AMCARMEN'S KITCHEN

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of March, meaning quarter of the year has just zoomed past in the blink of an eye! I felt like the first part of March went by really quickly for me, and the rest of the month just dragged on slowly to be honest. Maybe it was just because I spent the final week of my travels to New Zealand and Australia in the first week of March and the second week pouting about my post-vacation depression, and then of course dragging myself out of bed and to the office through the rest of March. I sound so pessimistic in this post in comparison to Wednesday’s post when I was all motivational and whatnot. Haha! I don’t mean to be pessimistic, I’m just stating the obvious lack of adventure in my life the moment I arrived back from my…

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Brain Hacks to instantly improve your Memory!!!

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Having a sharp memory is important for a lot of reasons. Not only should it improve your professional life, but going to dinner parties and remembering everyone’s name is downright impressive. If you think you have been cursed with a terrible memory, I have good news for you: that’s not true. Anyone can improve their memory by following this simple advice. Learning how to remember things is vital. Many intelligent people have a hard time remembering things simply because they’re not attempting to recover the information (or store it) properly. Just follow these tips, you’ll see an improvement.

1.)   Use the “snooze button:” To remember random information like an address or phone number, instead of repeating it to yourself, just rehearse it every 15 seconds or so for a few minutes. Don’t wait longer than that or else the memory will decay.

2.)  The peg system: This may seem like a bizarre method to recall information, but he human body peg system works. What you do is imagine parts of the human body itself and use them as “pegs” to store information. You visualize an image of what you are trying to remember and associate it with a corresponding body part.

3.)   Just sincerely FOCUS: Many people listen to music or have the television on while they study, but this actually significantly impairs the ability to memorize information. You can’t actually multi-task, you just jump in between tasks. So, to memorize information, just focus and limit other stimuli.

4.)   Linking: If you link items together in a list (even if they are unrelated), it’s easier to remember them. A common way to link items together on a list is with a short story, where you incorporate every item.

5.)   The keyword method: This is a useful trick when you need to memorize vocabulary when learning a foreign language. To use it, take a sound that you recognize from the new word, visualize that sound and then relate it to the new word you are learning.

6.)    The method of Loci: This is also known as the Journey Method and the Roman Room Method. This old memory technique uses a “memory palace” or house. You mentally walk through an area where you have stored information. By walking through different rooms or areas, you can remember the information you stored in those rooms.

7.)   Use the chunking method: According to research, you can hold about five to nine (seven on average) items in your working memory at one time. However, we can remember things like a phone number (10 digits-long) by chunking the information into groups. Therefore, that 10 digit phone number is only really three pieces of information.

8.)   Setting the information: There is a phenomenon called context-dependent memory, where you can give yourself clues for remembering things based on the sensory input you are experiencing at the time of the memory. Researchers found that when test participants learned something underwater, they could recall the information better when underwater again.

9.)   Using music to enhance memory: You shouldn’t distract yourself with music if you’re trying to remember something. Instead, putting long strings of text TO music (like lyrics) is an effective way to remember something. Think of all of the songs you learned in grade school to remember facts; that’s this mnemonic at work.

10.)   Smell enhances memory: Smell is one of the most powerful memory recall devices possible. This sense memory is exceptionally strong because the nose is able to go directly to your memory center. If you were studying for a test and wearing a certain perfume, if you wore the same perfume during the test you may perform better.

Credit: viralnova.com

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There is a reason why Owls are the Wiset birds – They’re night Owls (Are Night Owls smarter?)

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INTELLIGENT PEOPLE ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON: THEY STAY UP LATER THAN YOU

According to ”Psychology Today,” intelligent people are more likely to be nocturnal than people with lower IQ scores. In a study run on young Americans, results showed that intelligent individuals went to bed later on weeknights and weekends than their less intelligent counterparts.

In ”Study Magazine,” Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the London School Of Economics And Political Science, reported that IQ average and sleeping patterns are most definitely related, proving that those who play under the moon are, indeed, more intelligent human beings.

His analysis goes back to ancient times, asserting the idea that even in primitive years, people have been known to rise and fall with the sun.

Average brains were conditioned to follow this sleep pattern, while the more inquisitive, intellectual ones want to defy that pattern and create their own.

It’s an unconscious defiance that comes from refusal to acquiesce to the idea of mass appeal.

These findings are reported by “Study Magazine” as such:

Bedtimes and wake-up times for Americans in their 20s by IQ.

Very Dull (IQ < 75)
Weekday: 11:41 pm -7:20 am
Weekend: 12:35 am -10:09 pm

Normal (90 < IQ < 110)
Weekday: 12:10 am -7:32 am
Weekend: 1:13 am -10:14 am

Very Bright (IQ > 125)
Weekday: 12:29 am -7:52 am
Weekend: 1:44 am -11:07 am

Those with IQs less than 75 went to bed by 11:30 pm on weeknights in early adulthood, whereas those with IQs over 125 went to bed around after 12:30 am. This is no coincidence.

The data supports the notion that all night owls feel: the only real time for living is after everyone’s gone to bed.

Only after dark can we learn, absorb and study the effects of the day. It’s a necessary self reflection that few humans take the time to make.

There’s something to be said about those who fight the urge to sleep and explore that block of uncharted time that so many who always have their eyes closed will never see.
SUNJACK

THEY GET TIME TO DAYDREAM

All those dreams you can’t have during the day, when you’re snapped out of them by friends, family and work, are finally given time to run around.

Free to play in the open spaces of your mind, you can swim in all those thoughts you hid under your desk or behind mounds of paper work. It’s the most creative time of day, along with the most liberating.

It’s by the nightfall that your most uninhibited and passionate sides are explored. It’s the time to unleash your innermost desires and allow yourself the freedom that’s masked behind the taunting exposure of sunlight.

The night is for testing your limits and challenging yourself. It’s for discovering those passions you suppress all day and breaking down all those rules your parents made to protect you.

It’s the time to dig into those hidden corners of your mind and unknown trails of your subconscious. It’s a time of self-expression that can only be unlocked at night and evaluated by day.

THEY ARE ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT

Staying up late has been, and always will be, an act of rebellion. A defiance of the nine-to-five, the very habit of staying up late is revolutionary. Since ancient times, there is evidence that society condoned the night owls.

In the academic paper, “Why The Night Owl Is More Intelligent,” published in the journal “Psychology And Individual Differences,” it’s widely assumed that for several millennia, humans were largely conditioned to work during the day and to sleep at night.

While those who defy the trend, are more likely to “acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals.”

These “novel values” become the building blocks of leaders. They are the makings of revolutionaries, inventors and explorers. They are the ones who makes sacrifices and defy the societal pressure to follow the masses.

It’s no surprise that those willing to stay up late, to explore the uncharted territory of night, are more inquisitive.

They are more apt to make discoveries and challenge authority. They want to expand their mind, not shut it off just because people tell them it’s time for bed.

THEY ARE MORE OPEN-MINDED

Things that happen at night are things you can’t get away with during the day. It’s the time of utter licentiousness, of underhanded transactions and unseemly occupations.

It’s when the bars are opened and the poets write. It’s when musicians pore over instruments, geniuses have their breakthroughs and artists come alive. According to “Esquire,” it’s also when you have the most sex.

Healthy sex lives and late curfews are indeed, positively correlated. Those reported to have later bedtimes were buying more sex toys and having more sex than their sleepier counterparts.

One sex shop worker believes that intelligence is correlated with open-mindedness, which in turns correlates with a more open sex life.

Those who are willing to stay awake, who yearn for the mysteries of nightfall, are exposed to an array of discoveries that those who stay asleep will never know. It’s those who are willing to test their limits and explore in the dark who will bring more light to the day.

THEY ARE PROACTIVE

The early bird may get the worm, but the night owl gets the whole jar. While the early risers may get up to see the first worm crawl its way to the wet surface, the night owl gets to them before they burrow under.

Getting up early is most definitely proactive, but staying up late is just as fruitful. Those who stay up get hours ahead, rather than the one or two an early riser gains.

There are things to be explored at night that early risers will never experience. There are ideas formulated and tasks completed that early risers never get to finish.

Because at night, there is dawn and a new day in front of you. But by morning, there’s just the bleakness of night and the daunting end of another day.

Credit: Elite Daily

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Train, Eat, Rest & Repeat – Benefits of Squats

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  1. Builds Muscle in Your Entire BodySquats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
  2. Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities EasierFunctional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
  3. Burn More FatOne of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
  4. Maintain Mobility and BalanceStrong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.
  5. Prevent InjuriesMost athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
  6. Boost Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run FasterWhether you’re a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you’ll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.1 Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete’s training program.
  7. Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire BodyFew exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  8. Help with Waste RemovalSquats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They’re also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.

Credit: Fitness Mercola


Pink Queen

TRAIN, EAT, REST, REPEAT – FOOD THAT BOOST YOU BRAIN POWER

Be Like Water

Here are seven foods you should add to your regular diet if you want to keep firing on all cylinders. These foods may not make you smarter, but they’ll help you stay sharp and think clearly–especially when you’ve been glued to your desk for 12 hours.

  1. Salmon. This is one of the best brain foods out there. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids that have been shown to enhance memory and cognition. Plus, Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Shoot for three servings of wild Alaskan salmon a week.
  2. Flax. This plant-based source of Omega 3 is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Not only does flax improve brain function, but it helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Flax also helps lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar, making it a great supplement to include in…

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(Eat This) – Ways to Protect your Brain as it Ages

Be Like Water

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Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are the building blocks of a well functioning brain. Many seniors start to develop cognitive impairment as they age not because they are simply getting older, but because their nutrition is lacking. Aside from quitting smoking, staying active, and continuing to challenge yourself intellectually to keep your brain working well into your centenarian years, here is a list of foods, primarily those which contain monounsaturated fats or ‘healthy fats’, which can keep you reciting poetry from memory or recalling your childhood friends’ names like you just saw them yesterday.

avocados

  Avocados 

This fruit/nut/vegetable helps to keep your brain working at top speed with healthy fats, lots of potassium, fiber, Vitamin E, B-complex and folic acid. The health benefits of avocados are amazing.

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Peanuts, Walnuts, Almonds and Pecans

 As long as you don’t have a tree nut allergy, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans are wonderful for boosting brain health. They…

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Happy National Relaxation Day!!! – What do you like to do to relax?

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National Relaxation Day is observed annually on August 15th.  It is time to slow down, unwind and relax!

National Relaxation Day is an important day as we all need a break from the fast-paced and often hectic lifestyles we live. Taking time to recuperate and rejuvenate our tired minds and bodies may help prevent many health risks.  Like the founder of this day suggested, too much work can make us sick, run down, tired and that’s just wrong.  

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax (Laser Version)

What Causes A Panic Attack & Dealing with Anxiety attacks?

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One of the most baffling and maddening questions to either ask or be asked when it comes to panic and anxiety disorder is the question of “Why?” What causes a panic attack? Where does it come from? How come you have it? How to deal with a panic attack?

It’s hard for those who deal with anxiety attacks and it’s hard for those who go through them and it’s hard for those who lived with someone in their life who’s going through it.

It’s difficult and it is especially maddening when you realize that what people believe is the cause really turns out to be symptoms of something and not the cause.

I will give you an example what causes a panic attack. Many people will have a panic attack that they will say their first panic attack came from out of the blue. I don’t know where, just they may be in the grocery store or they may have been in a shopping center or on a plane or a train or maybe they were stuck in traffic or alone or maybe there’s a storm that was coming and they just started feeling nervous and the next thing you know, they’re hyperventilating and they don’t know why.

A lot of times people will be in those situations and they will say, “Aha! That’s what caused my panic attack” Truth is that my friend is the opposite of what I believe you need to do when you’re trying to find out what caused it. 

What cause a anxiety attack? 
The real thing to do is now to backtrack and find out what was the sequence of events that kind of led you to where you were. I don’t suggest this is easy and there are a lot of causal relationships that you might not recognize.

But there are some big red flag events or lifestyle choices that you can make which can cause a anxiety attack: